Max Chilton adjusting to life outside F1, embracing Indy Lights opportunity


LONG BEACH, Calif. – Life has changed a fair bit for Max Chilton in the last few months.

The Englishman is, like his Carlin Racing teammate Ed Jones and team principal Trevor Carlin, fully embracing his new opportunity racing in North America.

Yes, his Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires races this year are on a race-to-race basis, but the plan now is that the ex-Marussia Formula 1 driver will be continuing on for the balance of the season on non-conflicting weekends.

Initially, when Chilton first announced he’d be taking on the Nissan LMP1 program in the FIA World Endurance Championship, it didn’t appear as though he’d be able to do both.

Chilton has raced at Monaco several times previously, twice in F1 and before that in GP2.

While many have dubbed Long Beach “the Monaco of the U.S.,” Chilton wasn’t quite so quick to bestow the honor.

“Yeah it’s my first time here and first time to L.A. as well,” Chilton told MotorSportsTalk during Thursday’s media lunch activities ahead of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend.

“I have done the West Coast before, at Laguna, but never here. I have watched a couple of on-boards and done stuff on the sim. I’m not comparing it here to Monaco, but it’s definitely nice weather and a nice environment.”

Between testing work and the opening weekend in St. Petersburg, where Chilton had the pace but not the luck on race day (best finish of fourth in Sunday’s Round 2), he has adapted to the new Dallara IL15-Mazda Indy Lights car.

For a development car, he does think highly of it.

“Yeah it was a bit of a shock to the system initially,” Chilton said. “I’m used to turbos from F1 last year, but it initially was like going back to F3. Still when you know you have it dialed in, you know it’s a good car. I’m looking forward to more races.”

Chilton also spoke highly of racing in America for further opportunities this year. At the moment, he’s bouncing between the U.S. and the U.K. as his Nissan LMP1 commitments have now featured increased testing here in the U.S., at Bowling Green.

“Racing in the States is definitely different from the rest of the world,” Chilton said. “You’re slightly more relaxed. It’s good, fun racing. Everyone’s here because they love it.

“It’s a nice change coming out to race here.”

For now, Chilton is dovetailing the Indy Lights and Nissan roles, although he’s optimistic Carlin’s future IndyCar ambitions will play dividends for him racing in the series in 2016.

“This is another good focus because Trevor wants to get into IndyCar next year,” Chilton said. “There might be an opportunity there.”

You can watch Chilton and the rest of the Indy Lights field’s race from Long Beach at 3 p.m. ET, Sunday, on NBCSN.

IndyCar results, points after Detroit Grand Prix


DETROIT — Alex Palou topped the results of an NTT IndyCar Series race for the second time this season, extending his championship points lead with his victory in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver, who also won the GMR Grand Prix (and the Indy 500 pole position) last month, holds a 51-point lead over teammate Marcus Ericsson (ninth at Detroit) through seven of 17 races this season.

Ganassi, which placed all four of its drivers in the top 10 at Detroit, has three of the top four in the championship standings with Scott Dixon ranked fourth after a fourth at Detroit.

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Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden is third in the standings after taking a 10th at Detroit. Pato O’Ward slipped to fifth in the points after crashing and finishing 26th

Here are the IndyCar results and points standings after the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix:


Click here for the official box score from the 100-lap race on a nine-turn, 1.645-mile street course in downtown Detroit.

Lap leader summary

Full lap chart

Best section times

Full section data

Event summary

Pit stop summary

Here is the finishing order in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix with starting position in parentheses, driver, engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (1) Alex Palou, Honda, 100, Running
2. (7) Will Power, Chevrolet, 100, Running
3. (9) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 100, Running
4. (4) Scott Dixon, Honda, 100, Running
5. (13) Alexander Rossi, Chevrolet, 100, Running
6. (12) Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, 100, Running
7. (2) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 100, Running
8. (11) Marcus Armstrong, Honda, 100, Running
9. (6) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 100, Running
10. (5) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 100, Running
11. (24) Colton Herta, Honda, 100, Running
12. (17) Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, 100, Running
13. (8) Simon Pagenaud, Honda, 100, Running
14. (20) Agustin Canapino, Chevrolet, 100, Running
15. (15) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 100, Running
16. (18) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 100, Running
17. (25) Jack Harvey, Honda, 100, Running
18. (14) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 100, Running
19. (23) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 100, Running
20. (19) Benjamin Pedersen, Chevrolet, 97, Running
21. (22) Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, 97, Running
22. (26) Sting Ray Robb, Honda, 97, Running
23. (21) David Malukas, Honda, 85, Contact
24. (3) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 80, Contact
25. (27) Graham Rahal, Honda, 50, Contact
26. (10) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 41, Contact
27. (16) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 1, Contact

Winner’s average speed: 80.922 mph; Time of Race: 02:01:58.1171; Margin of victory: 1.1843 seconds; Cautions: 7 for 32 laps; Lead changes: 10 among seven drivers. Lap Leaders: Palou 1-28; Power 29-33; O’Ward 34; Palou 35-55; Power 56-64; Palou 65; Rossi 66; Newgarden 67-68; Kirkwood 69; Ericsson 70-76; Palou 77-100.


Click here for the points tally in the race.

Here are the points standings after the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix:



Engine manufacturers

Pit stop performance

Top 10 in points: Palou 273, Ericsson 222, Newgarden 203, Dixon 194, O’Ward 191, Rossi 176, McLaughlin 175, Power 172, Herta 149, Rosenqvist 148.

Rest of the standings: Grosjean 145, Kirkwood 142, Lundgaard 136, Ilott 116, VeeKay 108, Ferrucci 105, Armstrong 101, Rahal 99, Malukas 91, Daly 88, DeFrancesco 81, Castroneves 80, Harvey 78, Canapino 77, Pagenaud 72, Pedersen 61, Robb 55, Takuma Sato 37, Ed Carpenter 27, Ryan Hunter-Reay 20, Tony Kanaan 18, Marco Andretti 13, RC Enerson 5, Katherine Legge 5.

Next race: IndyCar will head to Road America for the Sonsio Grand Prix, which will take place June 18 with coverage starting at 1 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.